As it happened: Erdoğan takes over Turkey’s presidency after tense parliamentary ceremony
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stepped down as Turkey’s prime minister and was installed as the country's 12th president on Aug. 28, after a parliamentary ceremony boycotted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Outgoing President Abdullah Gül said a warm farewell to the Çankaya Mansion in the takeover ceremony.
Senior representatives of some 90 countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe attended the takeover, including the emir of Qatar and Iran’s foreign minister, according to Erdoğan’s office. No major Western heads of state attended the ceremony. The United States denied reports that it sending a low-profile delegation to convey an ulterior message to Ankara.
Here are the live updates as they happened throughout the day:
18:45 - Erdoğan is scheduled to appoint Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, his designated successor, to form a new government during a meeting scheduled for 10 p.m. Davutoğlu took over from Erdoğan as the chair of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Aug. 27. A new Cabinet is set to be announced on Aug. 29. (Click here to read more about acting PM Davutoğlu's statement)
18:14 - The takeover ceremony ends. Turkey's 12th President Erdoğan and his wife, Emine Erdoğan, are saying farewell to the 11th President Gül and his wife, Hayrünnisa Gül, with a military ceremony. “Goodbye, soldier,” Gül said for the last time in the Çankaya Mansion. The Gül couple, who will head directly to the airport, will live in Istanbul.
17:56 - Erdoğan presents a State Medal of Distinguished Service to Gül.
17:54 - Erdoğan concludes his speech by promising to "keep walking on the same path" as Gül said.
17:48 - Erdoğan says Turkey's EU process will continue. “The main axis of our foreign policy is peace, solidarity and welfare. Turkey doesn't have an eye on any country's territories or their internal issues. We don't have any plans or project like that," he added.
17:47 - “The era of the Old Turkey is over. We are now in the era of a New Turkey, the Great Turkey that carries the substance and spirit of the Republic,” Erdoğan said.
17:39 - President Erdoğan starts his speech by addressing Gül as “the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey, my valuable brother,” before welcoming guests. Stressing that “he is the first president directly elected by popular vote in Turkey’s 2,000-year-old history,” Erdoğan vowed to protect what the nation entrusted in him.
17:31 - Gül starts his speech by addressing Erdoğan as “Mr. President” and "my valuable brother, friend." After thanking the foreign guests, Gül stressed that he worked in harmony with civil society and the judiciary throughout his tenure. He also thanked his family and his wife, Hayrünnisa Gül.
17:26 - Erdoğan and Gül enter the hall. Both figures are expected to speak soon.
17:00 - The outgoing President Abdullah Gül welcomes the incoming President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the entrance of the Çankaya Mansion with the ceremonial cavalry regiment.
16:39 - Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has arrived in the Çankaya Mansion. Almost all foreign dignitaries are already in the hall. Erdoğan, on the other hand, didn't leave his residence yet.
16:15 - Erdoğan is expected to arrive in the presidential residence, the Çankaya Mansion, in minutes. An avenue separates the Çankaya Mansion from the Prime Minister's official residence in Ankara. The two buildings are a few hundred meters apart:
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15:27 - Erdoğan reads out what he wrote in the journal at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic: "Beloved Atatürk; I take over as the Republic's 12th President and the first directly elected president. After your death, the bond between the office of the presidency and the people was weakened. I believe that the tenure I start today is a means for the people to embrace their president and for the state to embrace its nation. You started the Independence War and strived to raise Turkey to the level of modern civilization. Turkey has met with its substance and spirit again today. National sovereignty has been strengthened more than ever. On this day, I promise that I will work more than ever for our beloved nation, as I start my tenure. May God bless your soul."
14:34 - Ceremonial artillery fires a 101-gun salute as Erdoğan leaves Parliament to lay a wreath at Atatürk’s mausoleum before the takeover ceremony at the presidential mansion.
14:24 - Erdoğan is scheduled to be at the Çankaya Mansion for the takeover ceremony at 16:30. Outgoing President Abdullah Gül will leave the mansion today, before departing Ankara for Istanbul. (Click here to read more about Gül's departure)
14:14 - Speaker Çiçek announces a parliamentary recess until Oct. 1.
14:11 - Erdoğan has completed the oath, officially becoming Turkey's 12th president. The Turkish National Anthem is then played at Parliament's General Assembly.
14:10 - Erdoğan takes the oath (The full text is below).
14:08 - Erdoğan enters the General Assembly. Speaker Çiçek presents him the presidential mandate.
14:06 - CHP deputy Engin Altay hurls a parliamentary rulings booklet at Speaker Çiçek, which hits the floor behind him. "Parliament Speaker had already been trampling on the rulings and the Constitution. I've just visualized what he had been doing," Altay later told reporters.
14:01 - Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek announces a 2-minute roll call. Most members of Parliament are already present.
13:59 - The oath that Erdoğan is taking, as written in Turkey’s Constitution, reads as follows: “In my capacity as president I swear upon my honor and integrity before the Turkish Grand National Assembly and before history to safeguard the existence and independence of the State, the indivisible integrity of the country and the Nation and the absolute sovereignty of the Nation, to abide by the Constitution, the rule of law, democracy, the principles of the secular Republic, not to deviate from the ideal according to which everyone is entitled to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of national peace and prosperity and in the spirit of national solidarity and justice, and do my utmost to preserve and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey and perform without bias the functions that I have assumed.”
13:51 - Two foreign dignitaries had to cancel their plans to witness the ceremony due to last minute domestic crises: Ukrainian President Poroshenko and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif. (Click here to read more)
13:45 - Erdoğan's motorcade leaves his Ankara residence on his way to Parliament.
13:37 - Erdoğan is expected to walk through in Parliament on this red carpet before taking his presidential oath.
13:13 - The Erdoğan family will watch the inauguration on these seats reserved for them in the Turkish Parliament.